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tv   News 4 Midday  NBC  February 28, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm EST

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right now on, a tornado watch in effect. tom kierein is tracking severe weather in our area. find out who is under the gun right now and what areas we'll have to worry about afternoon storms. off the road and into a home. we'll tell you what investigators think caused a minivan to crash into this mitchellville house. and emergency landing. frantic moments this morning after a continental airlines flight reported mechanical problems. a look at how emergency crews in our area responded. "news 4 midday" begins right now. good morning and welcome to "news 4 midday." i'm barbara harrison.
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it's monday, february 28th, 2011. and we begin this morning with severe weather. taking a look outside right now, the wind has already started to pick up and watches and warnings have been issued. we've got a tornado warning in effect right now. is it a watch? we'll talk to tom. tom, good morning. >> yeah. tornado watch, which means the conditions are ripe for tornados to develop. we don't have any tornadoes now. we don't have any warnings now, although we did about an hour ago. we had some severe thunderstorm warnings for the panhandle of west virginia, northern shenandoah valley, and western maryland, but those warnings have expired. the storms have weakened from that initial line. but we do have a dark sky just to our west. and that's where the radar is showing some of those thundershowers coming through, but it's not severe right now. all these counties in yellow are under a watch until 4:00, meaning the conditions are ripe for severe thunderstorms to develop in this area that could produce tornadoes. we don't have any right now, but it does include much of virginia, the district of columbia, and the nearby counties of prince george's, howard, montgomery, frederick,
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washington, panhandle of west virginia. right now, we have some of these showers coming into the shenandoah valley, maybe with some thunder and lightning, but no severe damaging winds associated with this. this is continuing to head off to the east. and we've had our temperatures really jumping, along with the winds, we've had winds now gusting to nearly 40 miles an hour coming in out of the south and west. it's now 70 degrees in washington, up from the morning low of 44. and it's 73 in prince george's county. the temperatures have really jumped up. and we are going to, as a result, have more unstable air with us, because of these warm temperatures and the threat of some severe storms later this afternoon. i'll have details on that and we'll look at the forecast for the rest of the week and the weekend. that will be coming up in just a minute. but right now, no warnings and no severe weather threatening us now. >> all right. thank you very much, tom. some local travelers are shaken this morning after a plane made an emergency landing at dulles, just minutes after taking off from reagan national. news 4's tracee wilkins is at dulles with the plane and the
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emergency crews and she can tell us how they were scrambling this morning. >> reporter: continental flight 1559 was headed from reagan national airport to houston. but you can see where it ended up landing, here at dulles international airport. just after 7:00 a.m., there were reports of this plane smoking. evidently due to some kind of engine issues after taking off from reagan national airport. d.c. fire and ems spokesman confirm that they actually scrambled crews to the i-295 area, just in case in plane came down. but it didn't? it landed safely here at dulles. we're told that all the passengers who were on board were safely taken into the terminal there, a-25, and they are now working to get them flights so that they can continue on their way to houston. we did contact continental to try to find out exactly what caused those engine issues. they have not returned our calls at this time. i'm tracee wilkins at dulles international airport, news 4.
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one man is dead and a d.c. police officer injured after two accidents that shut down the key bridge for more than four hours overnight. police say just before midnight, a man walking his moped across the bridge was hit and killed by an suv. the suv took off and was later stopped while driving on smoking rims on 270 in maryland. then just after midnight, a d.c. police officer who was investigating that deadly hit-and-run was struck by a passing car on the bridge. the driver did stay on the scene and was given a urine test by police. the officer suffered head injuries, but is expected to recover. police say the driver of that suv involved in the hit-and-run will be charged with dui. we're going to check road conditions right now. tanya hutchins keeping an eye on things for us this monday. tanya? >> good morning, barbara. we do have some traffic lights not working. so treat that as a four-way stop and expect a possible slowdown there. taking a look outside at the george washington parkway, northbound, after 395, there is
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some road construction. the right lane is closed there, but it's not affecting travel near the national airport, so you don't have to worry about that. a quick look at 495 at braddock road, doing okay in both directions there. but at braddock road inside the beltway at ravensworth, the traffic lights are not working there, so police are directing traffic. expect a slowdown right in ds the beltway on braddock. back to you, barbara. >> thank you, tanya. a van crashed into a house this morning. it happened on the 11800 block of me doughland drive. one person was taken to the hospital. no word on the extent of that person's injury. the recent rise in gas prices has drivers wondering what's going on? we've seen a 20 cent jump in just one week and analysts say don't expect prices to go down anytime soon. news 4's megan mcgrath is live at a gas station in connecticut avenue in northwest. good morning, megan, what's the price there right now? >> reporter: good morning,
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barbara. take a look behind me. $3.75. that's for regular gasoline at this station. if you get the premium, you're going to pay even more, $3.97. prices have gone up 4% in the last week and a lot of folks are wondering what can be done about it, if they can do anything in their lives to help ease the pain at the pump. >> thank you for choosing -- >> reporter: in silver spring, they've noticed a subtle change since gas prices have begun to soar. more and more prospective buyers who are reaching new cars online are asking about the gas mileage. >> a lot of us customers contact us well ahead of time before they come and visit via he e-mail. so a lot of the conversation is what vehicles do we have available with high gas mileage qup. >> reporter: now oil is over $99 a barrel. and at the pump, that translates into higher gas prices. the national average for a
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gallon of gas is now $3.29. that's the highest level ever for this time of the year, when prices are typically low. which such uncertainty in oil-produces countries like libya, motorists worry what the future holds. >> oh, it's scary. it's really scary. because every day, it's like going up and up and i'm wondering, how high is it going to go? >> i mean, it went down before, and right now, i mean, there's no telling. we just got to wait and see. >> reporter: now, the record high in d.c. was set back in 2008, and that was $4.18 for a gallon of gasoline. so we're a bit off of that, about 43 cents off of that record high. but a lot of experts don't see the prices coming down anytime soon. barbara, back to you. >> all right. thank you, megan. there's a new way to get through congested parts of fairfax county during offpeak hours. drivers can now access the westbound hov ramps on i-66 at
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monument drive and stringfellow road. the exits opened at 10:00 this morning after the morning commute. those ramps will remain open for single-person cars during offpeak hours and the weekend. virginia governor bob mcdonnell will make a formal announcement about the opening this afternoon at 2:30. and today, the slug line is moving in downtown washington. the slug line will form on new york avenue between 14th and 15th streets northwest. d.c. transportation officials say the new location is the result of commuter feedback. they say the new location is more convenient for drivers. ddot personnel will be on hand in case there's any confusion. this is the second time that line has changed. and right now, district lawmakers are meeting to investigate inaccurate breathalyzer tests. d.c. council member phil mendelson organized today's hearing to hear testimony about breathalyzers that were incorrectly calibrated. last year it was discovered that as many as 400 people convicted
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of drunk driving on inaccurate field sobriety tests. well, it looks like the federal government may not shut down this friday as feared. a short-term budget extension is now in the works. the house is expected to pass a two-week deal that includes $4 billion in cuts. the senate could take up the bill tomorrow. the current budget expires on friday. that mean lawmakers must approve a new or at least temporary spending plan before the march 4th deadline to keep much of the government from running out of money and closing. after working all weekend, virginia lawmakers are finally sending a two-year, $80 billion budget to governor bob mcdonnell. the final vote came late last night. it was the first time in decades that a budget was approved unanimously. the budget includes $100 million for higher education and state universities. there's also an extra $75 million for public schools on top of the $5.5 billion the governor had asked for.
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state employees will also now have to contribute 5% of their annual salaries to the pension funds. that will offset -- or be offset by a 5% raise. and new today, a scathing report says d.c. council chairman kwame brown appears to have broken the law by requesting a luxury vehicle. the report is by d.c. council member tommy wells, who is chairman of the committee that oversees the public works department. the wells' report says that in total, the city government has lost as many as 42 suvs that violates city laws, at least 42, because they are not used by police or rescue people. council member wells says he will hold a hearing later in march to explore details on the 42 leases, some of which pre-date the administration. he also says some administrations may inappropriately be using drivers
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rather than driving the car themselves. there was no immediate comment this morning from either mayor gray or chairman kwame brown. our time is now 10 after 11:00. coming up, the jailhouse interview and why bernie madoff is telling a reporter he's not a horrible person. plus, who is in control of oil and gas fields in libya? the european union says it's not moammar gadhafi. good to be back with you, looking forward to another good day. >> and astronauts are getting set for their first spacewalk. a look at
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right now president obama is hosting the nation's governors at the white house. the governors have been in town all weekend for the national governors association winter meetings. the president says he's hoping to hear ideas being used at the state level to spur recovery that could translate well to the federal government. well, it's a little bit quieter at the statehouse in madison, wisconsin7yq[ today. after two weeks of nonstop protests, governor scott walker ordered the demonstrators out of the capital building. but hundreds remained inside, still protesting a controversial budget bill that ends collective bargaining rights for many workers. wisconsin is broke and the governor says unions use their powers to block necessary cost-saving measures. walker argued that as he wants to get rid of the unions. and new developments in the crisis in libya. the european union says leader moammar gadhafi no longer controls most libyan oil and gas fields. the eu says regional families
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and leaders are now running operations. saudi arabia also said today it's stepped in to help oil production. many foreign workers who ran libya's oil industry have left the country. as protests continue, hundreds of demonstrators say that they have taken over zawiyah, which is the closest city to libya's capital, which is tripoli. meanwhile, gadhafi is getting international pressure to step down. secretary of state hillary clinton is in switzerland right now, meeting with foreign leaders. u.s. officials say tougher sanctions could convince loyalists to abandon gadhafi and his regime. and an overnight plane crash has killed four americans, the only passengers on board. the u.s. embassy says the private plane crashed moments of takeoff and then caught on fire. the plane was heading to saudi arabia on the first leg of a trip back to the states. there are no details on the identities of the four nor the possible cause of the plane
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crash. convicted swindler bernie madoff is in prison for the next 150 years for cheating investors out of $65 billion. many of those investors are right here in washington. but now we hear from madoff for the first time in his own voice since his imprisonment. kimberly suiters joins us now from the newsroom with the madoff tapes. good morning, kimberly. >> good morning, barbara. if you're one of the person who lost your life savings in the madoff ponzi scheme, nothing about what madoff says will bring you solace here. he spoke for hours over the phone to a contributing editor for the "new york" magazine. one of the few excerpts we heard, madoff denies he's a horrible person, he claims that he suffers every day, that he too was a victim, trapped in his own lies. >> it was a nightmare for me, yes, of course, only for me. i was able to explain it to ruth. she's still unhappy about it. she's still embarrassed. there's nothing that's going to change that. but she feels -- she feels sorry
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for me to a certain extent. >> all of my friends, all of my -- most of my clients, the individual clients, all are not net losers. it was the people that came in very late in the game that got hurt. so did i make a lot of money for people? yeah. i made a lot of money for people. you know, did people lose profits that they thought they made? yes. you know, but did they lose capital? i'm sure, i'm confident that when this thing is all finished, very few people, if any, will lose their principal. i kept on, you know, sort of telling myself, you know, that some, you know, some miracle was going to happen or that i was going to be able to work my way out of it, okay? i just didn't know -- i just didn't know what that -- what that was. >> the reporter who talked to madoff says prison has actually been a relief for him. he's reading, he's keeping busy, making friends, and the nightmare associated with leading a double life is finally
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over. madoff, who's 72 years old, does appear to take responsibility for one thing -- the pain he s hassing wrought on his wife and sons. madoff says flatly, "i destroyed our family." of course, he continues to try to protect them from federal investigators who are still looking into whether the family knew about his ponzi scheme. barbara, back to you now in the studio. >> thank you, kimberly. right now the astronauts from the space shuttle "discovery" are starting their first spacewalk of the mission. the crew will install a power extension cable on the international space station as well as replace a failed pump. this is the first of two spacewalks for the astronauts of "discovery," as it is on its final mission before being retired. and tom join us now with a look at our weather out there. we've got some winds kicking up, but no tornado warnings at this time? >> no severe thunderstorm warnings. we did have a few severe thunderstorm warnings about an hour and a half ago, but those have expired. and right now, things have settled down. but the sky is certainly looking dark, looking off to the west.
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there's a live view from the sky watcher camera. we do have some of these clouds coming through right now. they did look rather ominous a few minutes ago, but now things are improving. right now at reagan national, it's at 70 balmy degrees. and we've got the winds picking up. they just had a wind gust there out of the south-southwest at 29 miles an hour. now, as we take a look at the radar, all these counties in yellow are under a tornado watch until 4:00 this afternoon. includes most of virginia and as well as the district of columbia and these nearby counties in maryland. charles, prince george's, montgomery, howard, frederick and washington counties. parts of western carroll county. this is perhaps going to be expanded farther east, depending on what happens, but right now we have some light showers in frederick and montgomery county. there's some more moderate rain here, maybe a little thunder and lightning in loudoun county, just southeast of leesburg. and this line stretches down farther to the south and west, maybe with a little thunder and
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lightning, but no severe weather associated with this right now. look at the wind gusts we've had. we've had peak gusts to nearly 40 miles an hour. all of this coming in to the southwest. and look at these temperatures. has jumped dramatically from morning lows in the low 40s, right now it's reached the low 70s, in prince george's county, southern maryland through central virginia, closer to washington where they've had some rain off to our west and north, it's in the 50s. but right in washington, it's near 70 degrees right now. and farther to our west, though, where they've had some rain, low to mid-50s. and much chillier behind the front. it's only in the 20s and 30s throughout much of ohio and indiana. some of that chilly air is coming our way, but look at these 70s stretching all the way down into the carolinas. overnight, we did have some showers and thundershowers along a warm front that's pushing up into new england. now the main front still way to our west. this is not over yet. this is just the beginning. we have a lot of moderate to more heavy rain in kentucky, parts of tennessee. that's going to be coming our way. meanwhile, this tornado watch stretches from the pennsylvania
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border all across much of central western maryland and much of western virginia, all the way down to the north carolina border. and again, this watch may be expanded farther to the east in the afternoon hours. all associated with this strong front. look at all this rain in kentucky and tennessee. that's going to be moving up our way later this afternoon. and that's associated with a weak area of low pressure that's right along the base of this front. then the front sweeps on through as we get into the evening hours. by 11:00, it will be east of the bay, after that, after midnight, we'll clear out and turn much colder. cold air coming in tomorrow morning. we'll have temperatures down into the mid-30s starting off tuesday morning. then this cold air will continue to advance off to the east over the atlantic ocean. things should warm up a little bit as we get into wednesday with a settled pattern, but a weak front coming through wednesday. going to usher in some more cold air for thursday. for the rest of this monday, expect some strong thunderstorms later this afternoon with damaging winds and a small chance of an isolated tornado. we will probably hold steady near 70 or so, and then drop back down to near 60. and then we'll drop, continuing
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to drop to near 50 with the storms ending. we'll be clearing out, by dawn tomorrow, the mid-30s. sunny tomorrow, windy, gusty winds. we'll settle down tomorrow afternoon. a bit milder wednesday, then chilly on thursday. looking at friday and the weekend, we'll see temperatures moderating a bit, but there's another chance of rain, but i don't think any severe weather late on saturday night into sunday. and that is the way it looks right now. barbara? we'll be back with another update coming up. but no severe storms right now. >> that's good news. all right. thank you, tom. and we're going to check the midday traffic. hopefully no problems out there to deal with. tanya, what's it looking like? >> just one right now, the inner loop at 95 in college park, maryland. there is an accident reported there, so be careful topside of the beltway. elsewhere topside of the beltway, let's take a quick look at coalsville road, so far, no problems here. we're actually doing okay with traffic moving in both directions, a little bit of volume, but nothing to worry about. and at new hampshire avenue, same deal. traffic moving smoothly in both
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directions up at the top of your screen is the beltway there. and we're moving west, to the right of your screen, moving away from the camera. let's hope it stays this way. we're doing okay, barbara. >> thank you, tanya. it is now 11:23. still ahead on "news 4 midday," the oscar front-runner takes home the big prize. the other big winners from hollywood coming up. we've got a lot to show you. plus, the problem of childhood obesity. wait until you see some ideas we have for you and your kids that might help you lose some weight and certainly help them. first, here's a look at what's hot on nbcwashington.com.
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i know some of you may be confused and think this is the osc oscars. there are some similarities. first of all, everybody looks spectacular. and the second thing is, if i speak too long, the music will start playing. >> maybe the president should host the oscars. he showed off some of his comedic chops last night while hosting governors and their wives for a black tie dinner. and one local school, tubman elementary, helped the white house chefs prepare the menu last night. students. helped to harvest winter spinach and other greens from the white house garden for the meal. now to hollywood and the big oscar winners. "the king's speech" was expected to do well and it lived up to the hype, taking home four
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awards, including best picture. the film's star, colin firth, also won the award for best actor. the best actress award went to natalie portman for her role in "black swan." it was her first oscar win. >> it feels very, very dream-like right now. i don't really know where i am. >> i have a feeling my career's just peaked. >> the best sporting actress award went to melissa leo for her role in "the fighter." she spent most of her time backstage doing some damage control after letting a four-letter word slip during her acceptance speech. her co-star, christian bale, won for best supporting actor. and the sci-fi epic "inception" also received four wins last night. they were all in technical categories including best visual effects and best cinematography. "the social network" took home three awards as well, including best adapted screenplay. we'll have the fashion winners and losers later in the show. our time right now, 11:27.
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coming up in the next half hour of "news 4 midday," charlie sheen -- >> are you clean right now? >> look at me. duh! >> that's him. charlie sheen, speaking out again in an exclusive "today" show interview. hear what he's now saying about his sobriety. plus, what clinton portis is saying about reports that the redskins will release him today. and severe weather. tom kierein@@@@@ú
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right now on "news 4 midday," investigators are trying to pinpoint a plane's engine trouble that led to an emergency landing at dulles international. continental airlines flight 1559 took off from reagan national around 8:00 this morning. it was quickly diverted and made a safe landing at dulles. one man is dead and a d.c. police officer is injured after two accidents that shut down the key bridge overnight. just before midnight, a man pushing a moped was hit and killed by an suv. then the police officer investigating that deadly hit-and-run was hit by a passing car. one person has been charged with dui. that person was involved in the first accident. and the police officer is expected to make a full recovery. and right now, the astronauts from the space shuttle "discovery" are starting their first space walk of the mission. the crew will install a power extension cable on the international space station as well as replace a failed pump. this is the first of two space walks for the astronauts of
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"discovery," as it is on its final mission before being retired. actor charlie sheen says he's off drugs and put himself through rehab at his own home. he sat down for a one on one interview with nbc's jeff rossen on the "today" show. >> first question americaom wan to know, are you clean right now? >> look at me. duh! drug tests don't lie. >> when was the last time you did drugs? >> don't remember, don't care. drug tests don't lie. scoreboards don't lie. >> you say you've cured yourself of addiction, don't need alcohol anonymous. how have you done that? >> i closed my eyes and made it so with the power of my mind. i had to unload 22 years of fiction and don't believe that anymore and i know my own truths and that's what i stand on. >> what kind of fiction? >> the fiction of aa. it's a silly book written by a broken down fool. who is a plagiarist. they think it's a one size fits all and it didn't fit me and i
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felt silly prescribing to something with 5% success rate. as a retired gambler, i need better odds than that. >> did you turn to alcohol and other substances because you were bored? >> no, i did that because they work. >> work to do what? >> just change the way you see things. change the way you feel. and yeah, when you're a little bit bored with the redundancy of certain aspects of your liafe, yeah, i think that's why people do them. >> did you feel out of control a month or two ago? do you feel more in control now? >> i don't know if i would say out of control, just the choices i was making were not leading to the places i wanted. it was like, this thing is boring. i got bored, that's what happened. >> you've been to rehab before. this time you did in-home rehab. first of all, what is that? and why did it work, you think, for you? >> we couldn't really call it rehab, because we didn't have a
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license to operate one, so it was a crisis management center that we labelled the sober valley lodge. >> you labeled your house sober valley lodge? >> yeah, that's what it became. >> what happened? >> we wouldn't allow aa to become apart of. its primary client achieved radical success. >> sheen also says cbs owes him an apology and more money. clinton portis, his run as a redskins appears to be coming to an end. the nine-year veteran is expected to be released some time this week. sources tell news 4 that the skins want to release portis before friday. the second-ranking rusher in d.c. history described his time in the burgundy and gold as a love/hate relationship, saying "it's time to move on. parting ways with the organization is best for both situations. i can't grow within this situation. the same passion i had while playing for coach gibbs isn't there." portis is owed $8 million for next season and says he doesn't
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want to take a pay cut. today cuts off the spring training schedule for the nationals and all eyes will be on the washington bench as 18-year-old bryce harper is expected to come in as a substitute some time during the game. the number one pick in the 2010 draft will come off the bench against the new york mets. harper has said that he wants to make the opening day roster, but unless he plays perfect baseball, miele most likely start the season with the national's single "a" affiliate in hagerstown. and we're looking for maybe some severe weather later this afternoon. tom, what do you think? >> yeah, but our chances are diminishing, because this first line that did come through is kind of stabilizing things a little bit. there are some dark clouds now. a live view from the sky watcher camera, but they do look rather ominous, but they're not producing any severe weather, just some light scattered showers right now coming through. and we have these counties in yellow now under a tornado watch. they've dropped the other counties farther to our west, from the tornado watch, because of the fact that the atmosphere
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has stabilized. but we still have a chance for some strong storms. now, there is one line that's just now about to come into fauquier county, culpepper county. and there could be, perhaps, some strong winds associated with that. these are the latest wind gusts we've had out of the southwest, ahead of the main front. we've had gusts to around 40 miles an hour. look at the temperatures. now, 70 degrees at reagan national. but where they've had the rain, it's only near 50. farther to our west and north, in the low and mid-70s throughout the rest of virginia. we do have a lot of rain, though, coming into kentucky and tennessee. that should be arriving and we'll see that coming up our way in these tornado watches extend all the way back down into southwestern virginia. and after the threat of any severe weather later this afternoon, we'll have some colder air coming in on gusty winds, mid-30s tomorrow morning, sunny tomorrow, and much cooler winds diminishing during the afternoon. wednesday, a bit milder, into the mid-50s. then chilly again on thursday, but friday into the weekend, we should warm back into the 50s. maybe some rain saturday night into sunday. that's the way it looks. barbara?
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>> all right, tom, thank you very much. and out to the roads again. let's see if we have any midday problems out there. tanya? >> yes, we do. in virginia on memorial bridge, midspan there's an accident. police are on the scene. you can get by on the right lane. let's take a look at 395 at the 14th street bridge. no problems to report there. all lanes are open, other than the usual left lane construction that people are used to by now. and moving to new york avenue, we have the usual volume there. no problems to report either, inbound traffic there to the left. barbara? >> all right. thank you very much, tanya. tonight, the city will hold a public meeting about some major constructions set to hit the adams morgan neighborhood this week. and while it's being sold as an improvement plan, some local business owners fear it will do more harm than good. the plan is to widen 18th street. the project will cost $9 million and take about 15 months. many people who own businesses, however, are concerned the
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construction will turn people away. they also feel it could destroy the neighborhood's unique character. >> they say they're digging the street up. i don't think they're digging i think they're digging a grave for a lot of people. >> we know that this is going to be a trip to the dentist, in terms of some pain. but the fact of the matter is, there was very, very strong support in the neighborhood. >> tonight's public meeting will be held at the international student house in the 1800 block of "r" street. it will be from 7:00 until 8:30 tonight. the nation's last remaining veteran of world war i has died. frank buckles passed away yesterday morning at his home in charleston, virginia. at 16, he lied about his age and enlisted in the army, driving ambulances and serving as a warehouse clerk. this is video of buckles testifying on capitol hill back in 2009. he had been advocating for a national memorial for world war i veterans. buckles also fought in world war ii and was captured as p.o.w. in
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the philippines. frank buckles was 110 years old. in news for your health this midday, we're helping you to notice some warning signs that your child may be getting sick. many parents may want to call a doctor at the very first sign of a fever. but nbc's janice rucker explains why doctors say that might not be a good idea. >> reporter: for parents, it's a knee-jerk response. your child has a fever, you go straight to the medicine cabinet. but now pediatricians are saying, slow down. fever could be a good thing. >> it is a sign of infection, but it also can statement your body to fight that infection. >> reporter: fever triggers a spike in white blood cells, the body's army for fighting germs. it also slows down the ability of the virus or bacteria to reproduce. dr. janet sullivan at the university of louisville authored the report. >> the focus should not be on obtaining a normal temperature, but making sure your child is
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comfortable and looking for other signs of illness. >> reporter: science like dehydration, difficulty breathing, and excessive sleepiness. also, parents should call the pediatrician if their child's fever tops 101 degrees. infants with a temperature higher than 100.4 need to be seen right away. doctors say you're not harming your child by treating their fever, but there could be an unintended consequence. >> their fever being lower, their illness may be longer. >> reporter: as long as they're comfortable and hydrated, a little tlc is the best medicine. janet rucker, nbc news. >> doctors say more than 50% of parents give their children the wrong dose of medicine. they say it's important to use the correct measuring device, not a teaspoon. it is now 11:40. still ahead on "news 4 midday," we'll tell you what diet changes have been shown to make a real difference in your child's waistline. in health, we'll show you some changes. plus, what google is saying about disappearing e-mails
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today, google is trying to find out what wiped out service for tens of thousands of its customers. some sort of glitch with gmail deleted saved messages, storage folders, even names and contact lists. customers said it looks like their accounts had been reset. google says the problem affected about 100,000 account users, which is actually less than 0.08% of its customers.
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wow. they've got a lot of customers. consumer spending rises about the smallest amount in seven months. we're going to check in with cnbc's hampton pearson now. he joins us live with more on that and the rest of the day's business headlines. >> at midday, on the last trading day in february, major markets in very positive territory after oil prices stabilized and a couple of big deals. right now the dow is up just about 70 points. the nasdaq up almost two. the s&p up 5 1/2. crude oil futures have stabilized at around $98 per barrel on the nymex, despite growing violence in libya. but consumers saw the price of gasoline at the pump just 17 cents a gallon last week. the nationwide average, $3.37 a gallon. economists worry that will cut into consumer spending in a still-fragile economy. consumer spendi ining last monts up slightly, despite the tax cut, which gave consumers their biggest jump in increase in nearly two years. consumers increased spending
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just 0.2%, the smallest increase since june. personal income was up a full percentage due to the reduction in the social security tax. total spending last month, just under $10.6 trillion. meanwhile, the national association of realtors says fewer people signed contracts to buy homes in january. its index of sales agreements fell 2.8% off the low point last june, but still another sign the housing market is weak. the big deal getting a lot of wall street attention, hospital owner eventtist incorporated says it's buying nationwide health properties in a $5.8 billion deal. that will create the nation's largest health care real estate investment trust. the deal solidifies eventtist's position as the largest provider. 1,300 assets in 47 states and the district of columbia. barbara? >> all right, hampton. thank you very much. tomorrow is march 1st and the start of national nutrition
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month. today we're concentrating on children. a healthy diet helps children grow and learn. it also helps to prevent obesity and weight-related diseases, such as diabetes. joining us this morning is dr. tanya heller, the medical director of the washington center for eating disorders and adolescent obesity to talk about getting kids healthy. there's so much discussion about this, and welcome. always good to see you. >> nice to be here. >> so much discussion about childhood obesity. how big is the problem nationally? >> barbara, one in three american children is now considered to be either overweight or obese. >> one in three. >> that's a significant health issue. >> it certainly is. should we be worried about this health problem? >> so it is a significant problem, with this rise in childhood obesity, we're also seeing a great increase in obesity-related medical complications, even in young children. >> and that would include? >> diabetes, type ii diabetes, cardiovascular complications, hypertension, high cholesterol. >> and we're seeing this in
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children how young? >> when i practiced medicine just a decade or two ago, we didn't see type ii diabetes in patients under age 20. now we're seeing 8, 9, and 10-year-olds with diabetes. >> now you're running a center that deals with children with eating problems, those that eat too much and those who eat too little. we'll talk a little bit about obesity today. because that really is the growing problem in this country. working parents, they're busy. they don't have time to really concentrate on making the meals perfect for kids. >> parents are overwhelmed now. we don't want to create panic. it's a serious issue, but there's no need for panic. and there's a whole lot that parents can do, we can all do, to try to improve the health of our children, and ourselves, too. two-thirds of adults are overweight too. >> if we start looking at how getting our children a little less obese, it would help many of us as well. let's talk about some of the things you've brought with us. one of the problems is that parents do stop on the way home and pick up things like fried
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chicken and that kind of thing. you've got households where both parents are working and no time to consider the foods. >> absolutely. one of the ways parents can help is to lead by example as well. children really do learn what they see. so there are a few things that we can do to make it easy and there's a little new monic. increase the numbers of fruits and vegetables to at least five serveses per day. five to nine is even better. two, decrease screen time, including television, video games, recreational screen time to under two hours per day. do you know that recently there was a report that children spend more than seven hours a day in recreational media. if you concluded cell phone use as well. >> it's not just the food. we've got to get them out and moving. >> right. children under two should not watch television and keep the tv set out of the bedroom. number one is to increase physical activity to at least an hour per day, for most healthy
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people. and zero is try to decrease sugar, sweetened beverages to zero or close to zero a day. so this is a great way. mixed greens in bethesda helped sponsor this and brought some of these healthy options to show how you can get fruits and vegetables. >> is this considered breakfast? >> this could be for breakfast. one is a low-fast yogurt, the other is a greek yogurt with a gluten free granola with fruits. tastes great. this is some salad options, could be vegetarian, if you need to add some other protein, that's fine. nuts in there. >> is that the point, you're adding protein to this? >> you want to add some protein. these are some examples. it's not going to be enough for a meal, but some examples of how to great fruits and vegetables. these are smoothies to show that you can make smoothies fun and creative. because how food looks is very important too. orange, ginger, carrot with almond milk. and here's some almond -- >> the fact that it looks so
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pretty makes a huge difference. we'll be celebrating nutrition month all month. hopefully we'll get you back here again to talk more about ideas to get kids -- as long as it's beautiful, that pulls me in, nanyway. >> dr. tanya, thank you so much. our time right now, 11:50. coming up, the editor of fashion washington magazine gives her opinion on who looked great at the oscars. and what all-american sweetie fell short. plus, meteorologist tom kierein is back with the information that we need to know about any thunderstorms that could be moving into our area. we'll tell us.
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the oscars were awash in vibrant reds, some lush shades of lilac too. jennifer hudson and her new very slim body rocked the red in a sexy halter dress, but other stars, including haleigh stinefeld, wore pale pink. gwyneth paltrow wore a more sophisticated oscar look. and one of the night's big winners was also one of the night's big fashion winners. fashion washington's jennifer barger joins us with her list of the hits and misses. nice to see you. >> you too. >> i watched last night and i had some favorites and some i really thought were losers last night.
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>> it was a strange night. because it wasn't that exciting. people were pretty safe. but i do think we saw purple is huge again. it's funny. it hasn't particularly been out, but it was huge for evening. >> yeah, i that's -- >> natalie portman. >> yeah, that is purple, isn't it? i guess i wasn't thinking of it as purple. it's a very pretty dress. she's pregnant, of course. >> she's pregnant. and i think she ends up looking really great in this. >> was that one of your favorites? >> absolutely one of my favorites. i loved the earrings. my absolute favorite was cate blanchett. >> how about annette bening? >> i thought it was really flattering, age appropriate, and thought it made her look sophisticated and younger without looking like she was trying to go to the prom or something. >> that was not one of my favorites. i didn't like that dress so much. i don't know why.
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let's look at cate blanchett. >> cate blanchett, this has a bit of a controversy on the internet, because some people don't like this dress so much. that doesn't quite show how great the color was, but it's lavern ander and some yellow acs up on the top. it's a dress that could have looked wrong some people, but i think it fit her so well, and she's wearing that new bob, which is so attractive on her. i would wear that dress myself. >> it is a very pretty dress. it wasn't to me, a spectacular, but loved her haircut. let's go to -- let's see, reese witherspoon? >> i didn't like reese. i love her, she's a nice person, but she looked like barbie. like one of those retro barbies you buy in the package. her hair was kind of ridiculous. you didn't look at the pretty girl, you looked at that huge hairdo and the dress was boring. >> how about mila kunis?
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my problem with it, i felt like you looked at it and you were confused about what the lace was, and when you looked at the lace on the upper part, it almost looked like she had a tattoo of lace. i just thought -- she's pretty, but i didn't like it. >> i thought it was lovely. and i've heard a lot of men say they liked it. >> i know. i guess that's what's important. >> a very revealing dress. let's look at christian bale, one of the men who we kind of looked at. >> yeah, and he looked -- i thought he looked really good. i don't like the beard, but i thought his tux looked -- >> you like the black tie, black shirt? >> yeah. >> robert downey jr., quickly? >> he always looks good. he managed to look a little casual, but very daper. he always brings it. >> and they all looked great last night and everyone seemed to have had a great time. some just better than always. >> yeah, yeah. >> always great to see you. >> you too! >> thank you. let's take a look at some of the stories we're following for news 4 this afternoon. pat lawson muse joins us in the
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newsroom with a preview of things to come. pat? >> hi, barbara. coming up at 4:00 today, trapped under snow, the one snack that a couple kept in the car that kept them alive for days. plus, out with the old and in with the new. how your gadgets could end up making you money and helping the environment. liz crenshaw has details on that tonight at 5:00. and we want to hear from you about this. which station has the best gas prices in the area? weigh in on nbc washington's facebook page and we'll chair the results tonight starting at news 4 at 5:00. time for a final check on the forecast. tom? >> we're getting some rain right here in washington. we are getting a developing line of some thunder and lightning. that is now forming in prince william county and into southern fauquier county, culpepper county. and there's some indication there may be a little circulation there. those counties in yellow under a tornado watch. there could be some wind damage along this line from culpepper to warrenton to manassas, near centerville. that line is heading off to the
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east. watch out, there could be some wind damage associated with that. and later today, we could get some more strong thunderstorms. stay with nbc 4. we'll let you know. nbcwashington.com for anymore watches and warnings that may be issued. stay tuned! >> all right. thank, tom. and that's "news 4 midday." we thank you for being with us and invite you to tune for news at 4:00, 5:00, 6:00, and 11:00. and i'll be back tomorrow for "news 4 midday." until then, have a terrific day and we'll see you in the morning.
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